Ferrere

2013, International Tax Review

Ferrere is a full-service law firm with one of the largest tax teams in Uruguay, led by Alberto Varela and employing 34 attorneys and accountants. Active in indirect tax, corporate tax, and tax disputes, the group represents multinational clients, including Archer Daniels Midland, Banco Santander, Global Forest Partners, Exxon Mobil and UBS. One of the matters the practice resolved in the past year was a long-standing dispute involving JP Morgan Chase, Dresdner Lateinamerika and Credit Suisse. The tax authority, DGI, claimed the three foreign banks, which were minority shareholders of Banco Comercial, Uruguay's largest private bank that failed in 2002, owed $85 million in taxes arising from the minority stake the foreign banks also held in San Luis Financial, a Panamanian company that was also a shareholder and manager of the failed bank. DGI argued that the foreign banks had established a taxable presence in Uruguay. Varela and associates Gianni Gutiérrez and Isabel Laventure won a favourable ruling for their clients for relief of the full amount in October 2011. In addition to praising the three for their tax litigation skills, peers also single out Isabel Hounie for her expertise in capital markets and financial products, cross-border structuring, and M&A. Clients describe their experience with the firm as very satisfactory. The firm consistently meets expectations and is "extremely good" at delivering effective solutions and responding to clients' needs. Ferrere also serves local and multinational clients in Paraguay and Bolivia, where it also has offices.

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